This year I’ve got a sweetheart, a valentine, and it’s our first Valentine’s Day together. He bought two tickets for the ballet and made a dinner reservation in the city. I have plans for a nice dress and lipstick. I’m exactly where everyone will tell you you’re supposed to be on Valentine’s Day, and it is indeed very lovely.
But, reviewing my past years of Valentine’s Days and contrasting the memories with this year, I realize that my feelings about the holiday really aren’t hinged on my relationship status. I’m grateful and giddy to be going on a dreamy date night with the man I love on the 14th, but I don’t feel like I’ll be celebrating any more than I was throughout my many years of single Valentine’s Days.
In elementary school my February Thirteenths were always spent elbow- deep in pink glitter and Elmer’s glue, crafting elaborate valentine mailboxes. In Junior High I would buy special outfits in Valentine’s colors and get up extra early before school on the 14th to add curls or lipstick. I loved pretty paper valentines and overwrought
flowery decorations and the idea of celebrating love long before I had a special someone to celebrate with.
So I guess I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. To me it’s not really about the romance, but about your attitude towards love in general. It’s a day to take a step back and look at all of the meaningful relationships in your life and to let the people you care about know it. It may not be a boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse—it may be a niece or a sister or a parent or friend. All of those relationships are about love and all of them merit special attention on Valentine’s Day.
This Saturday, make the day about appreciating the love of all kinds swirling about in your life and send a little extra out to those you value. Valentine’s Day will have as much love in it as you choose to include.